News24

Child labour - UN criticises SA

2010-06-11 14:02

Geneva - With the World Cup about to start in South Africa, international groups in Geneva have used the occasion to condemn child labour around the world, including in South Africa.

The International Labour Organisation and UN children's relief body Unicef issued the report ahead of June 12, declared as the World Day against child labour, which has been observed in more than 60 countries since the year 2002.

The two groups said that worldwide, 215 million children below the age of 17 were forced to work to support themselves and their parents, often working under inhumane conditions.

Unicef said that child labour was commonplace in South Africa with an estimated 850 000 children working in the country.

In Africa as a whole, nearly one out of three children under the age of 14 had to work.

Using the football World Cup as a backdrop, Unicef has presented an action plan to campaign during the tournament matches for better efforts to protect especially disadvantaged and endangered children.

"Effect child protection can only take place when the entire civil society shows zero tolerance against exploitation of children," said Aida Girma, head of Unicef for South Africa.